The Blue Earth City Council breezed through its agenda at a meeting held on Monday, April 3.
Though most items did not warrant much discussion, the council did trade thoughts on a trending topic in Minnesota: the recent, and unexpected legalization of edible cannabinoids.
The legalization resulted from a loophole in a 2018 Farm Bill which expanded the definition of ‘hemp’ beyond plant material to include hemp extracts not exceeding a 0.3 percent delta-9 concentration.
The bill led to the legalization of the sale of certain edible products containing a limited amount of derived THC in Minnesota, effective July 1, 2022.
The loophole left many Minnesota cities scrambling to determine how to regulate the local sale of edible cannabinoids.
The City Council has yet to make any official decisions about regulating edible cannabinoid sales in Blue Earth. However, city administrator Mary Kennedy brought information about cannabinoids to the council on April 3, explaining it is something the council should begin thinking about.
She observed there are currently no limitations on where edible cannabinoids can be sold, except that they may not be sold in liquor stores.
There is also little guidance for law enforcement and employers regarding edible cannabinoid use and sales. Additionally, although cannabinoids may not be sold to individuals under 21 years old, it is not illegal for individuals under 21 to possess edible cannabinoids.
“There are a lot of little things that have to be cleaned up,” Kennedy summarized.
She said that Minnesota cities are considering many avenues for regulating cannabinoids, from implementing licensing requirements to issuing zoning requirements and moratoriums.
Council member John Huisman also suggested the city should consider how to locally route revenue from cannabinoid sales. Otherwise, all the revenue may go directly to the state.
“If cities want to have distribution sites, or license people to sell, we should be getting our share of the tax,” Huisman said.
Kennedy said some cities have considered establishing municipal dispensaries, which would allow cannabinoid sales to generate local revenue.
“There are a lot of good questions and not a lot of answers yet,” she concluded, adding, “I would encourage you to look through this, so you are informed and can make whatever kind of decisions you want to make.”
In other business, the Blue Earth City Council: 
• Heard the annual Blue Earth Fire Department (BEFD) report from Chief Steve Brown.
Brown said the department has ordered a replacement for a fire truck which was irreparably damaged in an accident last April. He hopes it will arrive in October.
He also said the BEFD currently has 25 members, and is seeking new recruits. Ideally, he would like to see a total of 30 members on the force.
• Received an update from city attorney David Frundt regarding the status of the proposed annexation of a portion of the Township of Blue Earth City to the city of Blue Earth.
“I am in the process of finalizing the legal descriptions to annexing all the property that lies east of the river and within the parameters we’ve talked about,” Frundt reported. “I will be ready to have that for action at the next (council) meeting.”
• Received an update from members of the City and School Facilities Joint Powers Board regarding the joint funding of a tennis court facility at Blue Earth Area High School.
“We met with the School Board, and they were not ready to give us an answer to our offer of $330,000,” said Ann Hanna, a City Council member and a member of the Joint Powers Board.
Hanna intends to remind the School Board of the city’s plans to redo the tennis courts at Putnam Park, as it may affect the timing of their decision to construct tennis courts at the high school.
• Accepted a $3,853,766 bid from Holtmeier Construction, Inc. for the 2023 Street Project. City engineer Wes Brown reported the bid came in $284,529 below the engineer’s estimate.
• Approved Task Order No. 2 of a professional agreement for general engineering services with Bolton & Menk, which concerns construction services for the upcoming 2023 Street Project.
• Approved Resolution 23-04 adopting a new Tax Abatement Policy, which will provide incentives for the construction of new owner-occupied and multi-family residential housing in Blue Earth.
• Appointed Doug Storbeck to the Board of Public Works.
• Approved Resolution 23-05 declaring certain city property excess and surplus, including a 1983 Massey Ferguson 3545 tractor and a John Deere 318 lawn tractor. The items will be put out for sale.
• Approved Resolution 23-07 declaring property at the Blue Earth Community Library and Fossil Discovery Center excess and surplus, and calling for its sale. The property includes various chairs and desks, a table, a metal cart and a filing cabinet.
• Noted that the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting is scheduled on Monday, April 10 at 3 p.m. at Blue Earth City Hall.
The meeting will be held to determine whether property in the jurisdiction has been properly valued and classified by the assessor.
• Noted that there will be a MnDOT public open house at 10 Talents Art Center on April 6 to discuss the upcoming 2023-24 Interstate 90 Project from Blue Earth to Highway 22 south of Wells.
• Approved a travel request from Public Works director Jamie Holland, who will be attending the annual Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association Conference on July 24-28.
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